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Selections From The Prison Notebooks [BETTER]

The Prison Notebooks (Italian: Quaderni del carcere [kwaˈdɛrni del ˈkartʃere])[1] are a series of essays written by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was imprisoned by the Italian Fascist regime in 1926. The notebooks were written between 1929 and 1935, when Gramsci was released from prison to a medical center on grounds of ill-health.[2] His friend, Piero Sraffa, had supplied the writing implements and notebooks. Gramsci died in April 1937.

Selections from the Prison Notebooks


He wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and analysis during his imprisonment. Although written unsystematically, the Prison Notebooks are considered a highly original contribution to 20th century political theory.[3] Gramsci drew insights from varying sources - not only other Marxists but also thinkers such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Vilfredo Pareto, Georges Sorel and Benedetto Croce. His notebooks cover a wide range of topics, including Italian history and nationalism, the French Revolution, Fascism, Taylorism and Fordism, civil society, folklore, religion and high and popular culture.

The notebooks were smuggled out of the prison in the 1930s. The first edition was published in 1947 and won the Viareggio Prize a few months later.[4][5][6] Gramsci's posthumous award of the Viareggio Prize was followed by a memorial from the Constituent Assembly of Italy on April 28, 1947.[7] The first translation into English was printed in the 1970s, by the Scottish poet and folklorist Hamish Henderson.

Following a supposed attempt on Benito Mussolini's life on 31 October 1926, on 8 November Gramsci was arrested, in spite of his parliamentary immunity.[8][9] Following a show trial in May 1928, Gramsci was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Following his trial, Gramsci was brought to a prison in Turi, where he spent the first five years of his sentence and began writing the Prison Notebooks in February 1929. By this time, his health had started to decline.[10] When his health permitted, Gramsci spent much of his time in prison reading Marxist texts and commentary on them, though access to these texts was censored by the prison. He wrote extensively during this period, filling his notebooks with small handwriting.[11]

Details: Antonio gramsci's prison notebooks, written between 1929 and 1935, are the work of one of the outstanding and most original marxist thinkers in western europe their influence has grown continually since their first publication in italian, beginning soon after the second world war this volume contains the most important of gramsci's notebooks - on the role of intellectuals, and on education, history, politics, the modern state, and philosophy the introduction and full apparatus of notes set this work in its historical and political context and help readers find their way into gramsci's thinking 041b061a72


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